The PADI organization salutes all those who knowingly expose themselves to risk for the greater good of the communities and countries they represent. Active-duty military personnel and veterans across the globe, first responders, health care providers on the frontlines, first responders like police officers, firefighters, emergency medical teams, and critical service providers like teachers, transportation workers, supply chain and retail employees – pandemic notwithstanding – are still there when we need them.

My PADI Interview Juan Gonzales, Military Veteran PTSD Fighter

All cultures and nations have heroes: those who put their lives on the line – sometimes losing it – for the rest of us when called to do so. It’s important to remember and recognize these individuals because they’re not only called to stand between us and peril, but often at a moment’s notice in challenging conditions for long hours. Every one of these noble people deserves our notice, thanks and respect. If you’re one of them – thank you for your courage and sacrifice.

There are thousands of service people, front-line health care workers, first responders and essential service providers in the ranks of PADI Divers and PADI Professionals, and it pleases me to say that the global PADI community consistently embraces and stands proudly with this special breed. In addition to the confidence-building and life-transforming aspects training as a PADI Diver offers, diving itself can heal, with proven therapeutic benefits for individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other mental and physical challenges. Recognizing this healing power of diving, PADI dedicated its Healing and Wellness Pillar of Change, focusing on helping others live fuller lives through scuba or freediving.

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Because diving has a proven power to heal, many dedicated organizations and dive professionals use scuba to provide not only physical and psychological benefits, but a renewed sense of purpose and community to help those who need it. There are so many PADI dive operators and instructors who step out and step up for service people, responders and others who need it that I can’t possibly list them all – and that’s awesome. If you’re one of these, thank you, too.

If you know a veteran or active duty service person, health care worker, police or fire officer, paramedic, other first responder, or anyone who is on the front line as essential service provider, please take a moment to thank them for what they do – and share diving with them if they’re not already divers.

And if you’re one of these selfless people serving your country and community, forgive me if I say “thank you” one more time. We can’t thank you enough.

Seek adventure. Save the ocean.

Drew Richardson
President & CEO PADI Worldwide

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